Kliff Kingsbury said last year that he’d take then-Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the top pick in the NFL draft if he had the chance.
At the time, Kingsbury was head coach at Texas Tech. He became the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in January.
It just so happens that the Cardinals have the top pick in the draft.
And Murray declared Monday that he’s “fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback,” four days before he was scheduled to report to spring training with the Oakland Athletics.
So we might as well jump ahead to draft day in April and have commissioner Roger Goodell make it all official onstage in Nashville, right?
Not so fast, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said during an appearance on an Arizona radio station.
“There’s always a lot of speculation that turns out to not be true,” said Bidwill, whose father, William, is the Cardinals’ controlling owner. “But moving forward, we’re going to continue to build this team and build around the foundation that we have.”
The foundation he’s referring to might include Josh Rosen, the former UCLA quarterback drafted by the Cardinals with the 10th overall pick last year. His numbers weren’t great in 2018 — he was 3-10 as a starter, completing 55.2% of his passes for 2,278 yards with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions — but maybe it’s too soon to give up on such a high draft pick.
Despite Kingsbury’s hypothetical about drafting Murray last year, the former USC offensive coordinator wanted to watch game tape during his interview with the Cardinals and show Bidwill and others in the organization what he thought he could do to help Rosen improve.
“Of all the coaches, he was the only one to say, ‘Bring the tape, we’re going to break down the tape,’ ” Bidwill said.
Still, it’s got to be tempting to be coming off a 3-13 season and have a Heisman Trophy winner who threw for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns waiting to hear his name called on draft night. Chances are, the Cardinals aren’t even close to making a decision on what they’re going to do with that No. 1 pick.
“I can tell you, 3-13 is certainly a great motivator,” Bidwill said. “Failure, and especially epic failure like last year, remains a great motivator for me to get this turned around fast and keep as much pressure internally on the people making decisions to push things forward.”